If Only I Had Listened with Different Ears
If Only I Had Listened with Different Ears ...
Three Buddhist Tales by Jason Siff
Introduction by Stephen Batchelor
ISBN 978-1-896559-71-1, 190 pages, 6.14 x 9.21".
These three tales belong to the same genre as Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. The first two fictional stories take place in Northern India at the time of the Buddha, while the third story is about the next Buddha, Maitreya.
King Bimbisara’s Chronicler is a novella about a young man’s journey with the Buddha. It is recalled thirty years later, during the turbulent reign of King Ajatasattu, when the chronicler is assigned to memorize the words of Mahavira, though he would rather be at the Buddha’s side.
After the Parinibbana is a short story about a dying old monk who begins to wonder if living the sage’s life was truly worth it. He is deeply affected by the loving-kindness of his only student, a young Buddhist nun.
Myth of Maitreya is a fictional account of the Bodhisattva Maitreya speaking to Asanga during his twelve years in the forest, which leads to the creation of a new Buddhist philosophy with the help of Asanga’s half brother, Vasubandhu.
About the Author:
Jason Siff was a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s. His novel, King Bimbisara’s Chronicler, was published by Sarvodaya Vishva Lekha in 2001 and nominated for the IMPAC literary award. His non-fiction books include Unlearning Meditation (2010) and Thoughts Are Not the Enemy (2014), both published by Shambhala Publications.
What people are saying:
"Jason Siff possesses the rare gifts of a storyteller. His lyrical, unpretentious prose evokes a fully realized, consistent yet ever surprising world." — From the Introduction by Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism Without Beliefs
Read an interview with the author and Kim Beek on the Buddhist Fiction Blog